N.W.T. avoids power rate hike with $29.7M to cover diesel costs
Low water levels reducing amount of power hydro systems can produce for 2nd year in a row
The Government of the Northwest Territories says it will provide $29.7 million to the Northwest Territories Power Corporation this year to prevent an increase to power rates in the territory due to low water.
Low water levels have reduced the amount of power the Snare and Bluefish hydro systems are able to produce. That will need to be supplemented with diesel generation, which the territorial government says will require approximately 29 million litres of fuel.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon Premier Bob McLeod said the government wants to shield N.W.T. residents from a rate hike.
"Without this decision, NTPC would had had to apply for a two-year rate rider that would have increased costs for all N.W.T. power customers," McLeod said.
McLeod made a similar announcement last September, when he said the territorial government would borrow $20 million to cover the extra cost of producing electrical power with diesel generators.
McLeod and Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger said this round of funding will cover the cost of diesel fuel from July 2015 to July 2016.
Miltenberger says power rates would have gone up 25 per cent if the government didn't step in.
"While N.W.T. residents won't see increases in their utility bills, lower revenues combined with rising costs and demands for programs and services will mean the GNWT will have to make strategic choices about its future spending," Miltenberger said.